In order to encourage Hispanic consumers to participate more in their health care, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) is collaborating with Hispanic-serving organizations in an effort to promote the Agency's Spanish-language resources. The easy-to-read resources help individuals get a better understanding of the treatment options available together with their benefits and risks. In addition the resources encourage shared decision making between patients and their health care providers.

So far, a pledge for commitment to promote AHRQ's Spanish-language, evidence-based resources have been signed by ten organizations, including the Latino Student Medical Association, National Hispanic Medical Association, District of Columbia Office on Latino Affairs, Telemundo, National Association of Hispanic Elderly, National Latina Health Network, and the National Center for Farmworkers Health.


In order to encourage Hispanic consumers to participate more in their health care, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) is collaborating with Hispanic-serving organizations in an effort to promote the Agency's Spanish-language resources. The easy-to-read resources help individuals get a better understanding of the treatment options available together with their benefits and risks. In addition the resources encourage shared decision making between patients and their health care providers.

So far, a pledge for commitment to promote AHRQ's Spanish-language, evidence-based resources have been signed by ten organizations, including the Latino Student Medical Association, National Hispanic Medical Association, District of Columbia Office on Latino Affairs, Telemundo, National Association of Hispanic Elderly, National Latina Health Network, and the National Center for Farmworkers Health.

A nationwide campaign "Toma las riendas" ("Take the reins"), is being launched by the AHRQ in order to encourage Hispanic individuals to explore treatment options and take control of their health. The campaign launches at the D.C. Armory in Washington D.C., November 13 at the Telemundo-sponsored Feria de la Familia (Family Fair) event from 12 p.m. To 6.00 p.m. ET.

The campaign promotes a wide range of resources developed by AHRQ's Effective Health Care Program, addressing the need for high-quality health care information. The resources, which consist of consumer-friendly articles that review treatment options for prevalent health conditions, will help Hispanic individuals to collaborate with their health care providers to choose the optimal treatment option possible. The factual, unbiased information do not tell consumers or their clinicians what to do but help answer common questions, such as: What treatment is most likely to work best for me? What are the benefits and risks of different medical treatment? How strong is the science behind each option?

AHRQ Director Carolyn M. Clancy, M.D, explained: "The Toma las riendas campaign comes at a terrific time for spreading the word about AHRQ's evidence-based Spanish-language resources. AHRQ's Effective Health Care Program now has more than 20 free, Spanish-language publications that provide information about common health conditions, including diabetes, heart disease and depression."

In the U.S. Hispanic individuals make up for 15% of the population, and are more likely to experience poor health outcomes compared to white individuals. According to AHRQ's 2010 National Healthcare Disparities Report, Hispanics have considerably higher hospital admission rates for short-term complications from diabetes. In addition they are not as likely to take prescription drugs to control asthma. For several Hispanics, looking for treatment requires them to use a new language in order to navigate a complicated health care system. The Spanish-language publications provides Hispanics with the chance to easily compare treatment options for several common conditions.

AHRQ Scientific Review Officer Ileana Ponce-González, M.D., and Toma las riendas campaign spokesperson, said: "If you don't get the best possible information about all your treatment options, you might not make an informed decision on which treatment is most appropriate for you."

Written by: Grace Rattue

Copyright: Medical News Today

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